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Hunter-Reay Top List Of Entrants For Indy 500

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 11 2015
Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport will be chasing the title of 2015 Indianapolis 500 champion.

Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport will be chasing the title of 2015 Indianapolis 500 champion.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is among six former winners named to entries filed for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.

Thirty-three drivers are listed for the 34 entries released Sunday for “The Greatest Spectacle bugindy500in Racing,” with Verizon IndyCar Series practice scheduled to open Monday on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Qualifications are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday to fill the traditional 33-car field.

Hunter-Reay, of Andretti Autosport, and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske traded the lead during the final six laps of last May’s event en route to the second-closest finish in the race’s 98-year history.

Hunter-Reay became the first American to win the world’s biggest auto race since Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske in 2006, passing Castroneves with a bold move on the inside of Turn 3 on Lap 197 of 200 and holding off the three-time event champion by a margin of 0.0600-seconds. That capped a six-lap sequence during which the pair traded the lead three times.

A resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Hunter-Reay declared himself “a proud American boy” after wheeling his No. 28 DHL Dallara/Honda into the Speedway’s Victory Circle.

“I’m just so proud of this race, because I grew up as a fan of this sport,” Hunter-Reay said post-race. “This is where drivers were made, history was made. When I was a kid I looked up to the Andrettis, the Unsers, the Mears’. Being an American boy, this is a very international sport with the best drivers from around the world coming here to do battle. The Verizon IndyCar Series is a true driver’s series. Having a shot at this race _ just being in the field _ is a privilege.”

The closest margin of victory in race history belongs to Al Unser Jr., who edged Scott Goodyear by 0.043-seconds in 1992.

The other former Indianapolis 500 champions entered are Tony Kanaan (2013) and Scott Dixon (2008) of Chip Ganassi Racing; Juan Pablo Montoya (2000) of Team Penske and Buddy Lazier (1996) of Lazier Racing Partners.

Castroneves _ winner of the race in 2001, 2002 and 2009 _ will attempt to join one of the most exclusive clubs in worldwide motorsports as a four-time Indy 500 champion. Only A.J. Foyt Jr. (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Big Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991) have won the Memorial Day Weekend event four times.

In addition to the six past Indianapolis 500 race-winners and seven Indy car champions, 20 drivers entered have won at least one race in open wheel competition. Included on that list is Team Penske’s Will Power, who won the second annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis from the pole on Saturday. Power, who led 65 of 82 laps around IMS’ 2.439-mile/14-turn road-course, is positioned to become the first driver to sweep the Month of May events if he can qualify on-pole for the 500 on Saturday and win the Indy 500 eight days later.

In addition to Power (2014), past Indy car champions entered include four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais (2004-2007); three-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon (2003, 2008 and 2013), Hunter-Reay (2012), Kanaan (2004), Lazier (2000) and Montoya (1999).

Two rookies with diverse credentials also are entered. Gabby Chaves, the reigning Indy Lights champion, won the Freedom 100 at IMS last May. Stefano Coletti, who finished eighth in Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix, is a multiple race-winner in GP2, part of the feeder system for the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines will power 17 entries, the same number as Honda. Additionally, Monday’s practice will mark the competitive debut of the superspeedway aerodynamic bodywork kits produced by the rival engine manufacturers. Track activity will begin with the Rookie Orientation Program from noon-1 p.m. (EDT). Open practice for all entrants will run from 2-7 p.m.

Official entry list for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500, with car number in parenthesis, driver, hometown/country, car name/engine and entrant:

  1. (1) Will Power, Toowoomba, Australia, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Verizon Team Penske
  2. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya (W), Bogota, Colombia, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Team Penske
  3. (3) Helio Castroneves (W), Sao Paulo, Brazil, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Team Penske
  4. (4) Stefano Coletti (R), Monaco, Monaco KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, KV Racing Technology
  5. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Toronto, Canada, Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  6. (6) JR Hildebrand, Sausalito, Calif., Preferred Freezer/CFH Racing Chevrolet, CFH Racing
  7. (7) James Jakes, Leeds, England, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  8. (8) Sage Karam, Nazareth, Pa., Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  9. (9) Scott Dixon (W), Auckland, New Zealand, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  10. (10) Tony Kanaan (W), Salvador, Brazil, NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  11. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Le Mans, France, Hydroxycut – HAUS Vaporizer KVSH Chevrolet, KVSH Racing
  12. (14) Takuma Sato, Tokyo, Japan, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  13. (15) Graham Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, Steak ‘n Shake Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  14. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Bogota, Colombia, AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  15. (18) Carlos Huertas, Bogota, Colombia, Dale Coyne Racing Honda, Dale Coyne Racing
  16. (19) TBA, Dale Coyne Racing Honda, Dale Coyne Racing
  17. (20) Ed Carpenter, Indianapolis, Ind., Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet, CFH Racing
  18. (21) Josef Newgarden, Hendersonville, Tenn., Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet, CFH Racing
  19. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Montmorillon, France, Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, Team Penske
  20. (24) Townsend Bell, San Luis Obispo, Calif., The Robert Graham Special Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing
  21. (25) Justin Wilson, Sheffield, England, Andretti Autosport Honda, Andretti Autosport
  22. (26) Carlos Munoz, Bogota, Colombia, AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda, Andretti Autosport
  23. (27) Marco Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Snapple Honda, Andretti Autosport
  24. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay (W), Fort Lauderdale, Fla., DHL Honda, Andretti Autosport
  25. (29) Simona de Silvestro, Thun, Switzerland, TE Connectivity Honda, Andretti Autosport
  26. (32) Oriol Servia, Pals, Spain, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  27. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Bradford, England, ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  28. (43) Conor Daly, Noblesville, Ind., FUELED by BACON Special Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
  29. (48) Alex Tagliani, Lechenaie, Canada, Alfe Heat Treating Special Honda, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  30. (63) Pippa Mann, Ipswich, England, Dale Coyne Racing Honda, Dale Coyne Racing
  31. (83) Charlie Kimball, Camarillo, Calif., Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
  32. (88) Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind., Jonathan Byrd’s/Cancer Treatment Centers of America Chevrolet, KVSH Racing/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing
  33. (91) Buddy Lazier (W), Vail, Colo., Wynn Iowa Vision Research Lazier Racing Chevrolet, Lazier Racing Partners
  34. (98) Gabby Chaves (R), Bogota, Colombia, Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda BHA with Curb-Agajanian

Note:(R) _ Denotes Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year candidate; (W) _ Denotes former Indianapolis 500 winner

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 11 2015
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